Penn Essays

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Discus: College Admissions: December 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: Penn Essays
By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 04:20 pm: Edit

ARGHHHHH!!!! CURSE YOU, PENN! For any of you who don't know, I'm considering Penn as my first choice college (ED). I just received their application package today and I already have Harvard's and Yale's. Here's the problem: Harvard and Yale have very simiilar essay questions and I'll be able to write just two for them. But Penn also asks two questions, one of which is the following: "Describe the courses of study and the unique characteristics of the University of Pennsylvania that most interest you. Why do these interests make you a good match for Penn?" WHAT THE HELL! The other question is easy enough and I'll be able to use one of my first two essays. But this one is just a pain in the ass! For anyone who's applied/attended Penn, could you please give me some tips/advice on how to approach this? Thanks!

By 4mm (4mm) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 04:40 pm: Edit

Other than to warn you that Penn takes heavy consideration in both of the essays that you will have to submit, there's not much advice that I can offer you because I was screwed over by that essay question last year. Thankfully, I got into Columbia, Brown, and Cornell (using a different essay than the one I wrote for Penn). However, Penn simply rejected me flat out (They didn't even bother to wait-list me).

By O71394658 (O71394658) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 05:10 pm: Edit

I think that's a great essay. It makes you do research on the school, and weeds out lazy applicants who don't want to answer the question.

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 05:29 pm: Edit

Just one hint: have you visited the campus, met any professors or had an (even informal) interview? My S answered a similar question at two different schools by discussing the traits that attracted him to his major and why he wanted to pursue it. He then spoke highly of the personal attention he rec'd on his visit and related the attractive features of the school to specific staff and faculty he had met. Ex. - "my impressions of the School of ABC, from the new XYZ lab to the faculty, were enticing. Here, Dean X assured me that my continuing interest in ___ could be developed through the many research opportunities, etc." He also mentioned his interaction with students at specific locations and said something about these being the kind of people he would enjoy spending time with.

Don't know if that is what they were after, but he was accepted to both schools. Hope this helps.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:18 pm: Edit

...Well, I visited the school once but didn't get any interviews or talk with any profs. I'll be visiting again this August though....perhaps I'll arrange something.

By Momof2 (Momof2) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:00 pm: Edit

Son's suggestions: - take the business cards of anyone who offers them and keep good notes of names and subjects discussed! Also, try to talk with some students (even student guides) in or near your intended major to get a better feel for the place.

By Pennster (Pennster) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 05:03 am: Edit

Definitely do you research on this topic, Penn puts incredible weight on it. I brought up the particular programs that interested me, my favorite aspects of the university, etc. Mine was incredibly sappy and I actually put something about it being a "dream" to attend the school, which I soon learned was a "do not" of college apps, but somehow it did the trick.

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